The match where both the teams had very little to lose made the ‘most awaited game of the year’ a bit dull in the build up. Though after the kickoff unexpected scenes were witnessed in the most dramatic El Clasico in the recent years. 8 yellow cards, 1 straight red card, and 4 goals keep the supporters on edge of their seats.
Published By: Dalipinder Singh Sandhu (Bliss)
The “El Clasico’ last night was more like a professional friendly, that’s what the expectations were but the reality was far from so. Barcelona were determined to end the season on the unbeaten run whereas Real Madrid had every bit of reason to stop their arch rivals from achieving such a feat.
The match began with high intensity and Barcelona capitalized their stronghold by taking the lead at minute 10. Luis Suarez converted the cross from Sergio Roberto to give Barcelona the early lead.
It wasn’t long after the first goal, Real Madrid turned the ball from a clearance to a counter attack architected by Cristiano Ronaldo who scored in the 14th minute and equalized the score. This came at a cost of his bruised ankle which forced him into a halftime substitution. This was Real Madrid’s all-time 400th goal against Barcelona and Ronaldo’s 18th who now is at par with Di Stefano. This was his 12th goal in Camp Nou as an opponent, more than any player ever.
The game remained opened and a lot of aggression was seen from both the sides especially the home team. Sergio Ramos and Luis Suarez had their own moment of the game from where the aggression started to build up. The Real Madrid captain picked up the Uruguayan as he lay down in wait of the foul.
Minutes later Lionel Messi showed most signs of aggression in contrast to the ‘Good Boy’ image he has been labeled with. The Argentine fouled Sergio Ramos near the sidelines in an attempt to take revenge for his teammate Luis Suarez. This led to Bale fouling Umititi minutes later as he sought vengeance for foul on his captain.
The game continued in the aggression mode as in the minute 32 Jordi Alba started to push and manhandle one of the calmest guys in the game Luka Modric. Things escalated as he was grabbed by the neck from the Barcelona man.
The 45th minute of the game saw a direct red card to the provider of the opening goal Sergio Roberto as he slapped Marcelo out of nowhere. The Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde on the sidelines immediately knew this reaction will be punished by a sending off and as anticipated by him the referee pulled out the red card and Gerard Pique stood there clapping sarcastically towards the official for the decision.
The halftime inside the tunnel had reports of further aggression as Sergio Ramos accused Messi of pressurizing the referee who made quite a lot of wrong decisions in the second half for both the sides. Reports from Spain say the cameras have caught Messi abusing the referee in the tunnel.
The second half saw less of cards but more of wrong decisions.
Lionel Messi again brought back Barcelona to lead by scoring at the 52nd minute but that should not have stood because the assist provider Luis Suarez fouled Varane and then passed the ball on to Messi who then buried it in back of the net. Messi extended his all-time top scorer of El Clasico record by making it 25.
After 20 Minutes at 72′ Gareth Bale with a wonderful shot full of power made it 2-2 and it was the final goal of the match. It was his 2nd goal against Barcelona, first one being the winner in Copa Del Rey Final 2014.
The match advanced into further speculation as the third goal of Barcelona was called offside which was a very close decision but the players did not seem much interested in protesting against the call.
In the dying minutes of the match, Real Madrid were robbed of a chance to win the match as a clear penalty was denied. Marcelo was fouled inside the box by Jordi Alba and it was in clear view of the linesmen.
The Real Madrid coach and the squad did not talk about referees fault and congratulated Barcelona on winning the league. Sergio Ramos said that Barcelona did not win the league with the help of favorable decisions. Marcelo, Nacho, Butragueno and Zinedine Zidane all denied blaming the referee and stated they are humans who tend to make mistakes. They congratulated Barcelona and Iniesta who retires from his top-tier football in Europe and moves to China from next season. Sergio Ramos was the one who took home the jersey of Iniesta and Zidane waited in tunnel for some time in order to give Iniesta his final farewell hug as a Barcelona player.
Real Madrid stated they aim for Kiev now and have had a good practice in El Clasico for their main motive The UEFA Champions League. Cristiano Ronaldo remains injured as of now but is expected to be back in time for the main game of the season.